• Timothy Page

Snake Handler

My how times fly. Looking through old photographs the last few days I came across these from yesteryear. Not sure if I want to laugh, cry, or go have a drink. I was 8 years old in this first photo, my dad had a hunting and fishing lease south of Houston, small rice farming town called, Danbury Texas. All summer we'd fish, and kill snakes, and in the winter we'd duck and goose hunt. Ahh, those were the days. We'd also got some bull frogging in during the summer, killed more water moccasins than frogs. This particular lease hadn't been fished or hunted for several years, so the snake population was really doing quite well. You couldn't fish without one slithering up and eat the fish right off the stringer. As a kid, it was fricking awesome. However, as time went on we managed to make it close to a safe playing field with the wildlife.

I'll never forget, one night my dad, brothers and myself went froggin. My brothers walked the banks of the water canals gigging frogs, dad held the light, I was the 'gunny sack' grunt. They got the frogs, passed them up to dad, and he gave them to me to put in the bag. No problem. As we went along, I was having trouble pulling this damn bag. Remember, it was night time, dark as hell. Dad shined the light around behind me on the frog filled gunny sack, and behold, there was a small hole in the bag, a couple of frog legs were hanging out, and a 6 foot cotton mouth moccasin had snatched those legs. I was pulling bag, frogs and snake along was we went. Of course, dad killed the snake, and I was heard screaming across several counties, at 8 years old I had one hell of a high pitched scream. Could have made big money in horror films in Hollywood.

By the grace of God, being taught by one hell of a dad, we never got bit by any of those creatures, and I'm sure someone is going to look down their nose about killing 'innocent' snakes. These weren't Texas rat snakes people, these guys could really put the hurt on you, IF you make it to the hospital in time. I wouldn't trade those days for nothin'! But I'm not too sure I'd go back to that experience. Been there done that. We did catch a lot of fresh water fish, killed fat legged bull frogs, chased turtles, shot doves, quail, ducks and geese over the years, such priceless memories and great times. Thanks dad.

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